Profiler

Season 1 Episode 12

Learning from the Masters

0
Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Feb 01, 1997 on NBC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Learning from the Masters
AIRED:
When a series of murder victims are found arranged in elaborately staged tableaux, Sam deduces that the cold-blooded killer is replicating famous artworks with their lifeless forms.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • All image, no substance; but gruesome enough to keep us interested.

    5.5
    My reviews for Profiler were actually first written when the show was airing in the late 90s. I began my review for this show with the line, "Even I recognized the second murder scene as a famous painting."



    That these characters didn't recognize that scene puts the viewer in the odd position of being way smarter than the characters, a truly dangerous place for a show built around the premise that they are not only the best at their jobs but they an incredibly elite task force. Sam is so good, apparently, she can demand helicopter transport anywhere she wants and the FBI gives it to her. But she doesn't recognize famous painting? Not a good place to take the plot.



    That said, however, we get some nicely satisfying scenes. The interrogation of the mobster - for instance - is one of the seasons better written scenes, showing Sam as more than an intuitive person; she comes across as shrewdly analytical, carefully dissecting a dangerous person and arriving at her conclusion. It's well done; it's unfortunately obvious from the beginning it's a red herring. The hardheaded local cop is always a giveaway in a show about FBI. The a-story is shrewd in a limited way - including some fairly sharp digs at the pretentiousness of the art world. When the professor comments that a piece of art the resulted from a murder is moving, we get the the point. But after that the show seems lost; the central idea of this episode is focused on the gruesome and compelling images. The artists and their comments are clearly intended for the audience - we're getting a thrill out of death and we're doing it without making a moral judgement. It's pretty subtle. Unfortunately, we're left with a problem - Sam solves the case by sheer dumb luck. Emphasis on dumb, thank you. She literally walks into the killers clutches. The b-story involves Jack - apparently the greatest genius ever born - hacking into the vctf computers and by doing so, disrupting cell service. Even in the 90s, that was a hard sell and we're not buying it now. We get lots of scenes of George being frustrated at the computers. Anyway, the other agents end up frantic that they are out of touch and off they go to rescue Sam - which is good because she's about to be burnt at the stake, literally.



    The killer falls dead - shot by Bailey - in a nice crucifixion pose and we're left with the dull b-story to resolve. "Jack is watching us."



    The Jack story arc is getting painful. I know it doesn't get resolved any time soon and that remained the central problem the show couldn't resolve for itself.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Caitlin Wachs

Caitlin Wachs

Chloe Waters

Dennis Christopher

Dennis Christopher

Jack of All Trades / Albert Newquay

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Michael Whaley

Michael Whaley

Det. Nathan Brubaker

Peter Frechette

Peter Frechette

George Fraley

Gibby Brand

Gibby Brand

Jerzy Breslow

Guest Star

Jane Singer

Jane Singer

Ellen Terrio

Guest Star

Virginia Hamilton

Virginia Hamilton

Nancy Stewart

Guest Star

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